Unboxing: Be More Grey

This often feels like an affirmation at something like an AA meeting, but I am a manual tester. I always immediately caveat this with ‘…but I’ll have a look’.

It is odd that I feel like I need to leap to my own defence so earnestly but I think ‘Manual Tester’ has a stigma attached to it even by other testers. A stigma that I myself subconsciously hold (thanks, impostor syndrome)

Much like the term ‘Code Monkey’ for developers (great song by Jonathan Coulton, the portal song guy FYI), it seems to suggest a lack of thought, comprehension or ability to handle anything overly technical. You just ‘do the testing’.

“Once you label me, you negate me”

Søren Kierkegaard

My testing has always been pretty grey. I’ve had local builds and DBs, I’ll trawl through repos, read through pull requests and will happily poke an API or 12. I cannot code though. While I can read code pretty well, learning to code has alluded me so far. I start off OK but eventually it always starts to feel very much “draw the rest of the fucking owl”.

How To Draw an Owl | Know Your Meme

This wall I hit with regard to learning to code also stops me from being an automation tester, from getting fully in the box or I guess, which is more frequently becoming a term, being a ‘Full Stack Tester’

“Potential has a shelf life”

Margaret Atwood

I imagine there are testers who refuse to code/automate and probably ones that cannot abide by manual testing. I will continue to want to have a look regardless of my total knowledge.

So much focus on how we do the testing and with what tools and defining the boundaries of the testing strategy. In practice, it is always more about the why, what, who/when for and that stuff is rarely as black and white as it seems.

All this grey matters and thinking outside the box/boxes allows curiosity, empathy and problem-solving to happen. It is in flux as well especially within an agile format and as what we are testing evolves.

Amongst the wiggle room and ambiguity is an opportunity to flourish, explore and adapt. Whatever kind of tester you get labelled as, try and be more grey or wander between the shades and avoid the boxes completely.


#alwaysbetesting #iamatester

Wheel Of Fortune

Friday was my last day at Cubiks after just over 7 years. I went into the office for one last time which was extremely weird but I got to see my team for the first time since March and Veni, Vidi, Papi.

As part of leaving I received the “Fabled Cubiks Disc”, a bespoke version of one of Cubiks’ most popular product’s report.

I have coveted this for years and years. They are only created for people who have worked at Cubiks for over 5 years and often just people who worked in IT/IPT. They have been a source of great fun over the years and always were part of a decent send off to whomever was leaving. The IT ones are always traditionally more playful and sarcastic as our wheels in reality were always a tad spikier than consultants ones.

My wheel is a lovely summary of my time at Cubiks, shows the impacts I made (beknown and unbeknown to me) and freezeframe snapshots of sagas from over the years. Plus, it is especially spooky which I think I love the most.

The product output itself was always used as a conversation piece and now I have mine which will be proudly displayed alongside my husbands to remind us of good times at the mad place we used to work.

His and Her PAPI Wheels

Thank you for the Cubiks. Slaters Cuboids, we’ll always have Stockholm.

Stay in touch yeah ❤